For years, the National Brain Tumor Society has offered our assistance to patients and caregivers who’ve reached out in need of support, guidance, and/or other resources to help navigate a brain tumor diagnosis and the subsequent treatment experience.
While a number of sources for direct patient services exist for brain tumor patients, our new NBTS Personalized Support and Navigation Program is designed to be responsive to the individual needs of the person asking for help — at the moment they reach out — and provide guidance and coaching to the resources both we, and our partners in the brain tumor community, provide. The outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has created additional demand for these kinds of services for our patients and care partners.
NBTS Personalized Support and Navigation Program is a service provided by a medical professional to ensure a patient or care partner receives individualized attention, support, and information*. And we’re thrilled to announce that Mary Lovely, PhD, RN, CNRN, is now serving as our Patient Navigator.
Mary has been a stalwart in the brain tumor community for decades. In fact, some of you may already be familiar with Mary, from one of her many roles throughout the years as a highly sought-after adviser and consultant across the field of neuro-oncology. As a neurological nurse in both clinical and research settings, Mary has worked closely with brain tumor patients and families for more than 30 years. She’s worked in hospitals; at nonprofit organizations, where she provided direct patient support, created and revised educational materials and organized patient and family conferences; and for biotechnology companies where she communicated with patients and caregivers on issues related to clinical trial participation. She co-facilitates the San Francisco Brain Tumor Support Group, is a Special Advisor to the International Brain Tumor Alliance, serves as an advisor for the Milton Marks Neuro-Oncology Family Camp, and as a patient advocate on the National Cancer Institute’s Brain Malignancy Steering Committee advisory board.
In her role as Patient Navigator with NBTS, Mary will respond to outreach from brain tumor patients and caregivers and guide them to accessible, quality, unbiased information. She’ll listen, support, and empower those reaching out for more help with key tools, resources, and opportunities to make more informed decisions about their care.
*National Brain Tumor Society does not provide medical advice. Medical advice is “the provision of a formal professional opinion regarding what a specific individual should or should not do to restore or preserve health” [ McWay 2015 ]. National Brain Tumor Society will provide information about the published standard of care for brain tumors, including trials, and may help patients identify trials to ask their medical team about for which the patient may be eligible if requested. However, NBTS and its employees will not make suggestions as to the treatment a patient should pursue.